New $2 Million Projector Creates Dazzling Display At Boston Museum
Boston's Museum of Science recently spent $9 million upgrading the Charles Hayden planetarium but the most expensive piece of that renovation is not one of the exhibits it's the $2 million Zeiss Starmaster Projector. The projector brings the universe to life on a 57-foot aluminum dome using lights and fiber optics. Two Sony high-resolution digital projectors contribute to the richness of the display. The Zeiss Starmaster is one of only two in the United States (15 worldwide) and the only one on the East Coast. The Boston Globe reports that the resolution is so good that you can actually use binoculars.
The museum has created a new half-hour show, "Undiscovered Worlds" that explores the question of whether other planets like ours exist. This has been a hot topic in the news lately. By the end of 2010 scientists knew of over 500 of these so-called "exoplanets" and NASA's recent announcement that its Kepler telescope had discovered 1,235 planet candidates means the number of confirmed exoplanets could more than double. The show highlights the challenges of finding these new worlds and showcases some of them including the lava planet Corot 7b, shown in the background above.
This spring, the Museum launches Night Lights, an evening entertainment series that will feature live performances under the star-filled dome and the next generation of laser shows. A schedule of events is available at mos.org/planetarium.